John Becker, Brock Butler, and Bill Conn represented Run Xpress at the 2018 Broad Street Run. All three ran PRs for this distance.
This race report comes from John Becker who had the biggest breakthrough of the day:
Purpose and Goal
This year was my eighth straight Broad St. Run. Going into it I was very confident I was going to beat my PR of 59:38 but I wasn’t sure by how much. At the Valley Forge race I ran a 2 minute PR so I thought if I could run a 2 minute PR at BSR I would be happy. So my goal was to run 57:30 and my stretch goal was to break 57. I also wanted to be in the top 10 in my age group with a stretch goal of being in the top 5.
I was pretty much hitting all my times in the weeks leading up to the race so I was feeling good. I would have to go back and look at my logs but in years past I probably tapered my mileage back more than I did this year. Sometimes I was worrying that I was doing too much. My legs didn’t start to feel really fresh until Saturday morning. The week of the race I was busy getting my house in West Chester ready to go on the market. I was doing more physical work than I wanted to but I wrapped things up on Thursday and was hoping to rest up until Sunday. Saturday evening I cooked dinner for my family and my in-laws and I got a little irritated that I wasn’t getting much help. I think it was partly due to my nerves. By around 7:30 or 8 pm I went upstairs to bed and read for awhile and tried to relax.
I got to the race pretty early which gave me plenty of time to warm up. I got in a nice 2-0mile warmup with some surges and did a couple of striders to get ready to race. At points I felt like I was floating when I was doing my surges. My mouth was kind of dry at the start of the race and my shoulders were a little crampy. First mile in 5:46 which ended up being the 2nd slowest of the race. I felt pretty good the first couple miles and was pleasantly surprised that miles 2 and 3 were faster than 5:45 pace. I didn’t panic nor did I think that I was going too fast. I just kept telling myself that I was doing good and to keep it up. I came through the 5 mile mark at 28:16 which was around 30 seconds faster than my goal. Once again I just kept telling myself that I was killing it and to keep it up.
A couple of times in the race there was a sizeable gap between the group I was running with and the group ahead of me. Sometimes I would dial it back a tiny bit and hang with the slower group but not for long. After a short time I usually made a move and caught the faster group. I felt like I was catching people most of the race. There weren’t many guys that passed me. Two years ago I had Brock to help me the entire race and last year there was someone that I ran neck and neck with for a bunch of miles but I really didn’t have anyone like that this year.
I started to develop a side stitch somewhere near the middle of the race but I was able to fight it off by exhaling on the opposite side. The race started to get really tough around mile 7 and some negative thoughts started to creep in. I tried to use my mantra’s and thought about my son and how I wanted to make him proud. After mile 7 there weren’t a whole lot of people for me to run with. There was one guy that was a few steps ahead of me and I told myself I had to hang with him because if I fell off I was going to be all alone.
Miles 8 and 9 were tough too but I was able to maintain my pace. I had to resist the urge to stop pushing it. I knew I was ahead of my goal and I could have easily cruised it in and still ran 57:30 at this point. I got to see my family shortly after the 9-mile marker which gave me a little boost but I felt like I came to a screeching halt on the tiny hill around 9.5. Once I crested the hill I knew I had to start kicking which I tried to do but my legs felt very heavy at that point.
Very happy with 56:32. I wish I could have dug a tiny bit deeper to get under 56:30 but no big deal. According to the results I came through the 5-mile at 28:16 which means I ran an exactly even race. I had plans to run negative splits but I’ll take it.
- Trust in your training and your coach
- Try not to sweat the small stuff in the days leading up to the race